Detective recounts details of stabbing

LISBON – Robert L. Harmony, the Salem man accused of murder in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Gerrod S. Lanzendorfer last week, was bound over to the Common Pleas Court grand jury on Thursday in Columbiana County Municipal Court.

Harmony, 45, East Fourth Street, remains in custody at the county jail on a $1 million bond, which Judge Mark Frost continued after hearing the probable cause testimony of Salem Detective David Talbert.

According to Talbert’s testimony, Harmony reported to a 911 dispatcher that he stabbed someone and later confessed, “I did what I did.”

Talbert said Lanzendorfer was dead in the street when Salem Fire Department first responders arrived in the 400 block of South Broadway, only about a block and a half from the fire department. The firefighters were summoned after a witness, Brian Smith, dialed 911 and told dispatchers a gentleman was stumbling into the roadway and needs assistance.

Talbert testified Lanzendorfer had been laid off from a job in Enon Valley, Pa. and was working as a bouncer at the Side Door Lounge to pick up a little money. The call to dispatchers came at 2:36 a.m.

Harmony reportedly walked to the police station, followed by Smith in a Chevy three-quarter ton pickup. Smith then returned down the street and parked with his headlights pointed at Lanzendorfer’s body, which was found to have defensive wounds on the hands, included in the 14 stab wounds eventually found on his body. Talbert said the Summit County Coroner’s office in Akron determined a stab wound on the left side of Lanzendorfer’s chest, near his heart, was the fatal injury.

There was no weapon found at the scene, but there reportedly was a large amount of blood found on a nearby retaining wall northeast of where Lanzendorfer’s body was laying. Defense attorney Jennifer Gorby questioned if the stabbing happened in the Side Door or Fernangles, both of which are bars in the area. Talbert replied they have been talking to employees and customers, who were there that night, but have no reason to believe the stabbing happened in one of the local bars.

Smith was not the only one to call 911. Harmony also reportedly called 911, which somehow was routed to the county sheriff office dispatcher. Talbert testified Harmony indicated to the dispatcher he had left the bar and he had stabbed someone.

Talbert said Harmony arrived at the police station with blood on his jacket, jeans and shirt. Additionally, Harmony appeared to have been crying. Talbert spoke to Harmony twice in the booking area of the police station.

“I ain’t got (expletive) to say,” Talbert said of Harmony’s initial response. “I want a lawyer.”

Defense attorney Jennifer Gorby questioned Talbert about whether a lawyer was called. Talbert said he personally did not, but he left Harmony in the booking area with other police officers.

When Talbert spoke to him a second time, Harmony had more to say.

“I was harassed. I was followed. I felt threatened. I did what I did,” Harmony reportedly told Talbert.

Police reportedly took a knife from Harmony with a small amount of blood on the hinge area. They also took his clothing, wallet and cell phone for evidence.

Harmony faces a murder charge, which is an unclassified felony with a potential sentence of 15 years to life.